Thursday, February 26, 2009

Archive: A Little Less Wise

Note to Readers: This is an archive. I am all healed. But you can still send me flowers if you want to.

May 7, 2007
Today I had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. What an interesting experience! It is one I have been putting off, even with dental insurance for the last four years. Silly me. So here is the experience thus far...

I woke up this morning and got ready, figuring I may as well look somewhat presentable for the dentist and hygienist who would be staring into my gaping wide mouth. Considered repainting my toenails, but no, this isn't labor after all. I got to the office, which is one of these really nice, new, state-of-the-art places. The people who work there are young and gorgeous, all walking advertisements for ZOOM! dental whitening. My hygienist was very sweet. She gave me the remote to control my channels for my little flat screen tv, which I could never actually see since I was laying back in the chair the whole time. But I could hear it, so that was nice. It was on Regis and Kelly. I opted for nitrous oxide, because I seem to take all invasive things a little more smoothly with some degree of bodily numbness and high going on. She put the little thingy over my nose, and I slowly drifted from awake and listening to Kelly and the fill-in Howie Mandel talk to...well, I forget who they were interviewing as I went into la-la land, but I remember them saying that they liked to watch Deal or No Deal.

At some point, I lifted my wrist to look at my watch. The hygienist, we'll call her Kelly because I am tired of typing hygienist, asked if I was okay (like I had somewhere important to go). I said I was, that I just wanted to see if I could raise my wrist. Loopy. Then, it felt like I fell asleep at some point, but I don't think I was fully asleep. Doc came in, young, smooth and cool looking, probably drives the hot Lexus in the parking lot. He gave me all the shots to numb my mouth. At that point, Dr. Keith Ablow came on and people were crying and confronting each other on the show. I lazily asked "Kelly" if she could change the channel. She said, "Maybe something happier?" I suggested Ellen. How I could be in such a state of mind, and still know that Ellen came on after Regis and Kelly, I don't know. She put Ellen on. Happiness ensues. Doc came back in and asked if my lips felt fat. I thought, why? Do they look fat? All I replied was a numb "mmmhmmm." They got to work. After "a little pressure" and some gross cracking sounds, all four teeth were out in about ten minutes. Even groggy, I was impressed with the speed. Gauze and ice pack in hand, I drove home.

I tried talking to Abigail a little, only to realize that my mumbled words were probably not helping her language development. I do have enough gauze in there to give me quite a good Godfather impression. So, the three of us went outside to lie on a blanket. Paul blew bubbles for Abigail, she wrestled the garden hose, I just laid there. A pretty good lunchtime, minus changing my bloody gauze every 20 minutes. I'm just now starting to feel my lips again, and I'm not sure I want to. Numbness wearing off means a little bit of pain on the horizon. Good thing I filled those prescriptions. Good thing the ladies at the pharmacy understood sign language.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It's Time

Now that I think I have solidified myself in the blog world somewhat, and maybe have 3 or 4 faithful readers, I feel it is time to let you into a part of my world. A darker part. A part that involves my husband, shirtless, greased-up men, rock music, bad boys, and pyrotechnics. That, my friends, is my husband's undying love for professional wrestling. After reaping the benefits of attending TWO contests that he has won, I do see an upside in this crazy other world. And I have some blog archives to prove it.

Archive: WWE and Me
March 18, 2007

My husband is a HUGE wrestling fan. Always has been. Just as easily as some can spew baseball stats and Heisman winners, Paul can tell you every WWF/WWE duo, heel, face, move that there ever was. When we were first married, I was sure that this was a passing phase that I could woo him away from. I quickly realized that he had loved wrestling long before he had loved me, and that I would have to learn to love it, too, in some fashion. So, although I am far, far, far from a loyal fan, I do know the names of the wrestlers, can pretty well tell the difference between Raw and Smackdown, and know that I do NOT enjoy TNA. I'm pretty much a fan of the story and the smack-talk more than the wrestling itself. And I could pretty well do without most of the divas.

So, not knowing what I would be signing myself up for, one night as I watched the "big-ness" of one of the shows, I told Paul that it probably would be kind of fun to go to a show sometime. I didn't know that meant the next show. So, when Paul saw that Raw was coming to Indianapolis on Monday, the 19th, he really, really wanted me to go. I got out of it somehow, and he got tickets for himself, Alex, and Kelly (two of our BCM students). Then, the Indy CW-4 station had a contest. Write a 200-word essay on why you are the biggest WWE fan. Paul wrote. He won. The grand prize. So, tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m., a limo will be picking up Paul and me from our home and driving us to the CW-4 station where we will be having lunch with a WWE star (I think it's a diva). Then after being dropped off at his sister's for the afternoon, the limo will pick us up again to take us to the show tomorrow night where we will have two front-row seats. Paul thinks this is the best thing that has ever happened to him, shortly after marriage and Abigail's birth (at least, I think it ranks after those). I think I will enjoy spending the day watching my husband truly have the time of his life. This is your World Series box seats, folks. The only thing that could have topped this would have been Wrestlemania, after which Paul would have promptly died and gone to Heaven.

We'll have fun, I'm sure. If not, I'm going to superkick somebody.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Which Came First: The Parents or the Kid?

This conversation was just too funny not to post. At lunch today, Abigail brought up for some reason "when Daddy was a little boy." I don't remember what brought that into the conversation, but what matters is all that followed.

Abigail: Daddy, when were you little?
Paul: A long time ago, before you were born.
Abigail: When you were little, only Mommy took care of me. Because you were little.
Me, to Paul: So you were little, and I am obviously a hundred years old.
Paul: No, when I was a little boy, Mommy was a little girl. You weren't born yet.
Abigail: Where was I?
Paul: You didn't exist.
Abigail: But where was I?
Paul: You weren't born yet. You didn't exist.
Me, to Paul: Could you say she was in heaven?
Paul, ever the theologian: No, she didn't exist yet.
Me: Abigail, believe it or not, Daddy and I had a whole long life before you were here. We were little kids way before you grew in my tummy and were born.
Abigail: BUT WHERE WAS I????

The conversation is starting to turn ugly.

Paul, switching thinking gears: Okay, let's put it this way. Abigail, do you want Mommy to have another baby someday?
Abigail: Yes, but will it be a boy baby or a girl baby?
Paul: Let's say Mommy is going to have a baby boy. (Of course he would choose that)
Abigail: I want a baby brother named Buster.

At this, Paul and I both cracked up, Abigail got sensitive about us cracking up at what she said, and she burst into tears. We assured her that we were not laughing at her, just at a funny thing she said. I told her Buster was a great name for a baby boy.

Paul: Okay, let's say Mommy is going to have a baby boy, and we can call him Buster. Where is that baby right now?
Abigail, tearfully: (Sniff, sniff) In heaven?
Paul: No. The baby doesn't exist yet because God hasn't made him yet.

Lightbulb moment. Why didn't we try the whole "God makes babies" thing in the first place?

Me: God has to make a baby first. Just like He made you, and you started out so small we couldn't even see you. But you got bigger and bigger in my tummy, and then you were born! So, when Daddy and I were little kids, God just hadn't made you yet.
Paul: Does that make sense?
Abigail: Mm-hmm.

Me: And if we have a baby boy, we might give him a different name. But you can call him Buster.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Local Hero

Yesterday, a fallen soldier made his way home. He was a local guy. I don't think he was from Marshall, but he was from one of the towns nearby. His wife was from Marshall, and they just got married in November. Newlyweds. And now he is gone, killed in Afghanistan. I didn't know him or his family. But I know yesterday was important.

We let out of church early so people could go get flags and stand along Route 1 as a motorcade came through carrying his body. First came the police cars, then the hearse with the flag-draped casket. Then his family followed behind. More police and military. Then The Cross ministry came through, all on their motorcycles, several of them from our church.

It was moving, standing there. As we waited for the car to pass by, we held our flags, and handed Abigail hers. We tried our best to explain what we could to her, and why it was so important. We explained that we were going to see a soldier. Then we sang "The Lord's Army" and "Onward Christian Soldiers" to try to give her a frame of reference. We explained to her that soldiers are very important people. They fight for our country so that we can have special freedom that a lot of people don't have. She held her flag in front of her, smiling, and said the Pledge of Allegiance (which she has known well since the summer Olympics). She asked if we would get to see the soldier. We told her that we would only get to see the car he was in. We explained that he died fighting for our country, that he had been shot. "Like Abraham Lincoln," she stated matter-of-factly.

"He is coming home to have a funeral," Paul explained to her. Being the daughter of a pastor, our little toddler has been to her share of funerals already. "Remember Warren's funeral? It will be kind of like that."

But different, I'm afraid....quite different from the funeral of dear Warren who lived a long, full life.

We saw his hearse coming in the near distance. I asked Paul what we were supposed to do. Nothing seemed appropriate at a time like we stand in silence? Do we applaud the sacrifice he made? We just stood, holding our flags silently as the car drove by. Tears in our eyes. So appreciative for this man we never knew.

As we walked away, to turn our flags back in to the firehouse, I told Abigail "You know another soldier. You know our friend Jake? Jake-and-Joanna Jake? He's a soldier."

Abigail nodded, "He died, too."

"No, Jake didn't die. Not all soldiers die. Just some do. Jake is already home with Joanna."

"Only this soldier died."

"No. I wish it were true. There have been more."

"Does he still talk to us?" she asked me.

"No, he can't talk to us anymore. But maybe he can talk to Abraham Lincoln."

She skipped on ahead to grab Paul's hand. Paul hummed a little song that made me realize this young soldier does indeed still talk to us. He spoke to us in his action. I don't know his life, his family, his young wife. But I know that he spoke to us in his sacrifice. That there truly are things in this life worthy of dying for. Freedoms. Serving God openly. Choosing our leaders. His sacrifice was so much greater than we realize....and he speaks to us in it.

Randall Goodgame sings the song "Susan Coats' Pants" that Paul was humming yesterday. The premise of the song is that he buys a pair of camouflage army pants from the local Salvation Army. The tag inside the pants is labeled "Coats, Susan". Throughout the song, he speculates about the soldier who once wore the pants. The last verse says:

I said they'll never fit me

And I guess they never will
I ain't never cleaned a gun
I'll never take any hill
And sometimes soldiers die
Settin' people free
That's more like Jesus than I'll ever be

Yes, Abigail, he can speak to us. Volumes.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

He's a Keeper

In honor of Valentine's Day, I feel I must list reasons why I love my husband. Not because it is required, but because I really, really do.

1. He is awesome at surprises. Paul has always had a much bigger romantic streak in him than I do in myself. I felt the need early on in our dating relationship to set the romance meter straight that I did not need the level of romance that he was trying to pour on so thickly. I told him I didn't need surprises. Or poems. Oh, gross, please don't give me poems. So instead, he wrote me a poem called "She Doesn't Need Poetry." He is witty, I'll give him that. Last night, he arranged for Abigail to go to my parents' house so that he could take me to Indianapolis. He took me to an Italian dinner and then to Cirque du Soleil! It was a total surprise to me, and it was an amazing show. We don't always do such big things for Valentine's Day, but sometimes we do. I guess it just depends on the year, but he has never let me down. Slowly but surely, I have realized that maybe as the years go on, a little extra romance isn't so bad, and I am so glad that he has been storing it up for me to be ready for it.

2. He is willing to try new things. Thursday night, Paul went to Zumba with me. He liked it, too! He may be the only guy in this little town of ours to ever try out Zumba in a room full of women, but he went, and he said he would go again. And he was so cute doing those dance moves.

3. He helps me. He knows my breaking points. He knows my loud pointed sighs. He knows when it is time to play with Abigail so I can have a moment. He told me he would make dinner on Mondays so I could go to Zumba. I haven't had him do it yet, but I have it stored in my memory, just in case.

4. He is a really great daddy. He played dolls yesterday with Abigail. And when she came into the bathroom the other day to tell me she saw a bear upstairs, and my response was, "Abigail, seriously. Have you ever seen a bear in this whole town?", his response was, "BEARS??? Let's go look for them." And they took a baseball bat upstairs and went on a bear hunt (they didn't find any). He constantly tells Abigail how beautiful and smart she is, and I relish this, knowing that he is playing probably the biggest role in her identity when she gets older. On Abigail's Valentine card today, I signed my name. He signed his name, and drew a picture of a dog, Cammie our cat, a bee that said "Bee Mine", and Dora the Explorer. Maybe he is just solidifying himself as the more fun and creative parent, but I adore it.

5. He is so much better than I give him credit for. As a new pastor, I know there are things that he is really gifted at, and some things he has to work on the will to do. Like, he is a very gifted preacher. I could listen to him preach any time of day, honestly. But visiting people in the nursing home is, well, let's just say he has to work up the will to do it. But the other day, he went to visit a lady from our church who is in the nursing home, and may be dying soon. She cannot hear him speak, but he went and sat by her bed and fed her ice chips. When he told me this, like it was no big deal, my heart grew about ten sizes for him.

6. He's a good defensive driver. I know that sounds silly, but he has avoided so many wrecks with us in the car, that I am sure I would have killed us about 37 times by now. Just last night, we were leaving Indianapolis, and this guy cut two lanes straight across in front of us, and he maneuvered perfectly. It made him mad, but he avoided the wreck, and I probably would not have had the skills to do that. So, silly, maybe, but I am so glad I don't do the majority of the driving.

7. He dreams big, and he wants others to do it, too. He knows that God wants us to live a life of abundance, not mediocrity. He helps me so often to see the bigger picture in things. His dreams are God-sized, like being able to buy an ultrasound machine for a crisis pregnancy center, but they are genuine.

I'll stop there. I could make it a list of ten, or a hundred. But in the living room, I just heard him tell Abigail, "I sure do love you, Abigail." To which, she replied, "My hair's dark. Yup, it's dark." And then she fell down and is fussing. And I don't want to miss out on this Valentine's Day moment with my family.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Moves I Didn't Know I Had

A movement has entered our little town of nary-4000 people. One that has been sweeping the nation for some time, I'm sure, but has now infiltrated our boundary lines. This movement is called Zumba. It is major aerobic exercise, and it combines dance moves from several different genres, including Latin, hip hop, and a little bit of belly dancing. And lots of shimmies and shakes.

I have now gone to a total of three classes after my friend Angel basically came the poster child for Zumba in Marshall. Don't tell anybody else this, but I'm pretty sure she has told more people about Zumba than she has about Jesus. :) I say that in fun, because Angel is just an enthusiastic gal who I know shares her love for Jesus just as much as her love for a good shake, rattle, and roll. I promised her I would go as long as she would stand by me in class. Old insecurities die hard, and I totally pictured myself alone in the corner while she ran off to talk hair with the popular girls. She had a good laugh over that one, but hey, we all have our ghosts to overcome.

The first time I went to the class, I told Angel that I was not mentally prepared for the amount of pelvic thrusting there would be, and she really should have warned me. The more I have gone, though, the less I feel that it is too sexy, and really feel much more of the real workout in it all. I sweat more each time I go, and even allowed myself some cute new workout pants if I was going to put myself through it two to three times a week.

I have laughingly explained that my first experience with Zumba was kind of like the movie Pleasantville. If you've seen it, yo u remember that it starred Toby McGuire and Reese Witherspoon. It was set in the 50s, and was all pictured in black and white. Then Toby McGuire comes from "out of town" to this little black and white safe place, and he starts to teach them about the big world out there, the sex and the sensuality. And little by little as they learn about it, all of the black and white people start to have color...first their skin, then their clothes, then their homes. Yeah, that is what is happening with Candy and her little Zumba class in Marshall. She comes from the "big city" of Terre Haute, and teaches a big group of women to sweat and shimmy things they haven't shimmied before. Then we get to go home and try to explain it to our husbands. And we go, "Well, I don't really remember all the moves, but we did this a few times." And then we shimmy. And suddenly, Marshall isn't quite so black and white anymore, but a much more colorful place.

Yeah, I think people are gonna like this little exercise class. I think they're gonna like it a lot.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baby-Making 101

Okay, so now I had you all concerned and praying for me on Thursday about my HSG, and then I go four days without a single update. I apologize. Thank you all for praying for us, and sending me all kinds of emails and facebook messages asking how it went. You are better at this than me.

Everything went fine! We drove an hour and a half to the north side of Indy for a test that took about two minutes to do. Seriously, it took me longer to put on the hospital socks they gave me (you know, the cool kind with the traction) than it did to take the test. I guess when you consider an X-ray is just a picture, then click, I'm done. Dr. Henry said everything looked just fine. He told me to call him when I got pregnant. Easy for him to say. :) So, even though we didn't talk in a lot of detail, I guess there is nothing structurally to explain the miscarriages. I don't know that we will ever know, though, so I will take a good test and go forward from here.

Speaking of having babies, why don't I tell you all a little story about how much my 3-year-old knows about having babies? Can I just say TOO MUCH. No, she does not yet know how a lady gets a baby in her tummy, and if I can hold off her Daddy from telling her, as he seems to think, Well, if she asks, I will tell her the truth. To quote the movie, "SHE CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!"

Here is what Abigail knew leading up to this week. I think at some point, she saw a woman on tv having a baby. She asked, "Why is she screaming?" I said, "Well, it kind of hurts to have a baby." She then asked, "Why does it hurt?" And Dr. Daddy Paul said, "Because the baby comes out your noonie." Just matter-of-fact, like she was ready for that load of information. And yes, we call it a noonie. Or nooney. I've never actually spelled it out, so your guess is as good as mine.

As if that little bundle of knowledge wasn't enough for her, there's more. Of course, after she heard it, she then liked to walk around the house groaning and saying, "Watch out, my baby is about to come out of my noonie. Ooooooooh, here it comes!" And then she pulls a baby out from under her shirt. I'm glad that is the worst of it. Or should I say...WAS.

Then, last Monday, my friends Angie and Sherri had brought their kiddos over for a little playtime at our house. Sherri is pregnant with baby #4, and is due in about eight weeks. Her tummy is, of course, quite sizeable. Abigail went over to her on the couch, and was rubbing Sherri's tummy and asking about the baby. Sherri told Abigail it was a boy baby. Then the conversation went as follows:

Abigail: Daddy says he goes in your noonie.

Sherri, shocked: Daddy says WHO goes in my noonie?

Me: She means Daddy told her that babies come out of your noonie. By "he", she means the baby.

Angie: Is there any piece of information that Paul can just wait until she is older to tell her? Does he have to explain everything NOW?

Sherri, to Abigail: Actually, this baby is going to come out of my tummy. (she is scheduled for a c-section)
This is when I can feel panic set in, as I see Abigail taking in this information.

Abigail: How does it come out of your tummy?
(This is like the train wreck that I just cannot turn my head from)

Sherri: Well, the doctor cuts my tummy. With a knife.

Abigail goes on to ask Sherri if it will hurt, will it bleed, yada, yada, yada.

The next night, Abigail came into the kitchen and said to me, "I'm gonna have my baby. Quick, get the scissors." I asked, knowing full well what she meant, "Why do you need the scissors?"

She replied, "Oh, wait. I mean a knife." I told her she did not need a knife to have a baby. Her voice got very insistent, and she said, "But Sherri's doctor is gonna cut her tummy open so her baby can come out!!!"

Oh, and I wish I could tell you that was the only conversation we have had about c-sections this week, but alas, it has not been. Paul is unfazed, and says that she will forget it, as he does not remember anything from when he was three. I told him, oh no, this one has already been seared into that little head of hers. I can only imagine the 'splainin' I'll have to do every single time she sees a pregnant woman. And for that, I apologize in advance.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Archive: One Year Ago

Written on the eve of Abigail's first birthday

One Year Ago...
Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It is hard to believe that a year ago today, at 1:01 a.m. I held my baby Abigail for the first time. I have been playing the events of the last two days in my mind, like watching my favorite movie over and over. It's true that I have already forgotten a lot. They say you forget the pain, which is God's way of making you want to have more kids. I don't remember the pain, I just remember being really glad when that epidural started to work. I don't remember the loss of sleep as the hospital room filled with visitors and a ringing phone for about 36 hours. I don't remember how bad that hospital food tasted, just how nice it was to have someone show up at my door with three decent meals a day. I don't remember the pain of nursing Abigail for the first time, just how I marveled that my body could supply her physical needs. I only remember that my husband was, and is, the most wonderful, caring, loving, supportive husband ever. He watched that whole process of Abigail being born, and never shared any of the "gross" stuff with me until months later, and then only when I asked.

And now I look at this precious girl, one year later, and can't believe that she ever came from me. As we play "Where's Abigail's belly button?", I smile faintly at the knowledge that her little belly button was what once connected her to me. It will be fun spending her teenage years telling her to cover it up. :) Paul and I have learned much this past year, of how to support and help each other, and how to guide Abigail in the truth of God's love for her. I know we have a long, long road ahead of us, but I look forward to it. As sure as I am of God's calling in our lives to work in ministry, I have never been more sure of my place as a wife and mother. It is a sweet privilege that I hope to never take lightly.

As Abigail now crawls across the kitchen floor with my cell phone in one hand and the cordless phone in the other, like she is skiing on phones, I know how quickly she will grow into a young lady. When she was born, I remember thinking that the hospital was giving her to me on loan for one year. One year to get it right, to keep her alive and healthy, and then I would have to turn her back into them at the end of the year. How happy was I to get to December 21st and see no letters from the hospital saying it's time to bring her back! I guess we've done an okay job.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Prayer Request

Hello friends. How are you? I feel like I have been slacking in the writing of the posts and such. I guess when you stay inside due to much snow, cold temperatures, and no real pressing "need" to go anywhere, there are not a lot of fun stories to share. I've done a lot of laundry. We watched the Superbowl. Abigail keeps trying to be a baby again. Not sure why...she just keeps pulling all of these baby things out of her closet and wanting to use them, wanting me to rock her, etc. Oh well, I'm sure it will only last until the first time I say, "Hmmm, I don't think you can do that because you are a baby, right?" She'll be back to big girl in no time.


Just a little prayer request for you. I am scheduled to go to Indianapolis on Thursday for a little test called an HSG. It has a very long name, but at the risk of laziness, I will not type it out right now. It is an internal x-ray of my uterus (graphic, I'm sorry). I was supposed to have it done a couple of months ago, but for two months in a row, the timing of the test fell around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it just never worked out. The test is basically just to see the inside of me and make sure there is not any type of scar tissue, septums (walls), or any other thing internally that would prohibit an egg from implanting properly when I get pregnant.

I'm really not all that concerned about it, and neither is my doctor. She just wants me to have it for peace of mind. Of course, there is always the chance that it will show something there, which may give insight into my miscarriages. But if the miscarriages were genetically-caused then it probably is not related. My ultrasounds that I had never showed anything of concern, so I'm not very concerned that this will either. But I am a little apprehensive, as you can imagine. Please just pray for me on Thursday as I have the test done (the doctor can go over the results with us right after the isn't like a lab that you have to wait on, it is like an x-ray picture that you can see right there).

So, thanks for praying, friends. This is a journey I wasn't really planning to go on, and I really don't foresee a battery of tests and things, nor do I really have the desire to go that far down this road. I do think that this will help me just to have a better insight into what is going on inside of me. I appreciate your prayers.